Provided by Alexander Carpenter
It is with profound grief and sorrow that the Augustana community announces the sudden passing of Dr. Phillip Merklinger. Phil had been a professor in the Philosophy and Religion program at Augustana for more than three decades, where he was beloved by faculty, staff and students alike. A scholar with wide-ranging interests and expertise—from ancient philosophy to Hegel to Existentialism—Phil was also a gifted and inspiring teacher, revered not only for his intellect and his ability to make philosophy accessible and understandable to students, but also for his kindness and generosity of spirit in and out of the classroom. In the words of one of his former students, Phil was simply “the best prof at Augustana…because he made students feel worthy.”
We at Augustana will remember Phil fondly for his deep commitment to teaching, his passionate support of student groups and advocacy on behalf of student issues, and for the important service to university governance he provided over many years. We will remember Phil for his love of rock ‘n roll–especially the Stones–and as a founding member of the Augustana faculty band the SubDudes. We will remember his wit, his wisdom and the importance of his voice on this campus. We will remember Phil as an irreplaceable colleague and dear friend.
To convey your condolences and share your memories of Phil, please sign the book of condolences in the Faith and Life Lounge; alternatively, you can comment here and we will pass on your words to Phil’s family.